Barbato joined the UC Davis faculty in July 2018. Before then, he was an associate professor at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.
He has made outstanding research contributions in structural engineering and engineering mechanics, with emphasis on nonlinear finite element (FE) modeling and analysis of structural systems, FE response sensitivity analysis coupled with numerical optimization methods, performance-based earthquake/wind/hurricane/multihazard engineering, random vibration theory, computational structural reliability analysis, probabilistic methods applied to civil engineering, use of by-product/recycled materials for sustainable construction, multihazard assessment and mitigation under current and changing climate conditions, and life-cycle cost optimization of resilient/sustainable structures subject to multiple hazards, including earthquakes, wind, hurricanes, and wildfires.
Barbato is the author/co-author of more than 200 technical publications, including 48 peer-reviewed journal articles. He is an editorial board member for ASCE’s Journal of Composites for Construction and for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure (Taylor & Francis); an associate editor for the Journal of Architectural Engineering and the ASCE-ASME Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems: Part A and Part B; a trial editor for Natural Hazards Review; and a specialty editor for the Journal of Research on Engineering Structures and Materials (MIM Research Group).
He is the recipient of the 2009 ASCE Moisseiff Award, the 2011 EASD Junior Research Prize for the Development of Methodologies for Structural Dynamics by the European Association of Structural Dynamics, the 2012 Best Paper Award for Young Experts at the 12th International Symposium on Structural Engineering, the 2012 LSU Tiger Athletic Foundation Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, the 2011 and 2012 ASCE Outstanding Reviewer Award for the Journal of Structural Engineering, the 2017 LSU College of Engineering Longwell Award for Instructor Excellence, the 2018 AISC Advancing Structural Steel Education Award, the 2019 ASCE Outstanding Reviewer Award for Natural Hazards Review, the 2020 Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, and the 2020 ASCE Sacramento Section’s Fredrick Panhost Structural Engineer Award. His paper “Performance-Based Hurricane Engineering (PBHE) Framework” is one of the five most cited papers in 2013-2016 among those published in Structural Safety (Elsevier).
In 2019, Barbato was elected Fellow of both the Engineering Mechanics Institute and the Structural Engineering Institute. He is an inventor of a fluorogypsum-based green concrete (U.S. patent #10865147) and of a sustainable microsilica obtained from sugarcane bagasse ash (U.S. patent pending). He has been awarded more than $6.8 million of competitive research funds from federal, state, local, and private agencies. He is also a current member of the EMI Board of Governors.
He received his “Laurea” degree in civil engineering at the Sapienza University of Rome (Rome) in 2002, and his master's degree and doctorate in structural engineering in 2005 and 2007, respectively, at the University of California San Diego. He is a licensed professional engineer in Louisiana.